Craft beer & ciders

Craft beer & ciders

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Increase In Global Demand For UK Cider Beers

Thorny Devil is the best place to get Australia’s famous craft beer. It gives information about UK Cider beers, variety of beers and others. Britain is well placed to take advantage of rising global demand for cider but the sector is held back by lack of investment in research and development and a lack of awareness of what the market really wants, according to Neil Macdonald, Orchard Park Farms owner and founding partner of cider maker Orchard Pig.

Macdonald, a member of the National Association of Cider Makers’ pomology committee, formed his views from a Nuffield Scholarship, which took him around the world including to France, Italy, the USA and Australia between 2014 and 2016.

“We have been planting cider apples like they’re going out of fashion. The long contracts on offer make it look like a complete gift,” he told growers at Agrovista’s Cider Technical Seminar in Ledbury, Herefordshire. “There was huge growth in 2006-12 but that has fallen away significantly in the UK over the last three years and that is continuing, though the on-trade is growing.

“The UK is still a vastly bigger market than the rest of Europe and accounts for 45% of global sales. France’s industry has been in decline for longer, while Spain has been static. There is little or no bittersweet apple production outside these three countries.”

Global growth

Overall, global growth is still steady, but where and by how much varies, says Macdonald. “Outside Europe there are still fast-growing markets, but from a low base. The big growth areas are the US, Australia and to some extent South America – it goes well with warmer weather. Some of the biggest consumption in the US is in Texas, though production is in the north, from dessert apples.”

The United States Association of Cider Makers’ CiderCon event “started six years ago with 40 people and this February will have 2,000 delegates”, he said. “It’s now ‘the’ global forum for cider production.” The University of California is “a centre for research”, while cider orchards “are going in the ground, but slowly, as growers don’t want to move away from dessert, they don’t have the facilities to deal with volumes, haven’t got the mechanical harvesting mindset and cider makers are paying them plenty for what they already have”.

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